SMR uses the older, classical Japanese ranking system of ‘mokuroku’, or scrolls of achievement. There are five levels of recognition in Shinto Muso-ryu jo. They are okuiri-sho, sho-mokuroku, go-mokuroku, menkyo and menkyo kaiden. Menkyo kaiden is the style’s highest level of recognition and these exponents are the only people who are legally qualified to teach and promote exponents of Shinto Muso-ryu jo.
There are no black belts or ‘Dan’ rankings of any kind. Everyone, students and teachers, wears the same color uniform (Kendo style uniform – see FAQ below: Weapons Information: what equipment will I need to start training), so there is no outward indicator of ‘rank’. The focus is on learning over the long-term, and not on short-term goals (like colored belts). Exceptional students may eventually be eligible for traditional licenses, but there is no guarantee of promotion. The only reason to train is for personal development–if you are interested in outside validation of your skills in the form of colored belts, trophies, certificates, etc. this will not be the right place for you.